Victorian majolica pitcher featuring the likeness of President Ulysses S. Grant, c. 1876. Earthenware with heavy glaze. High relief portrait of Grant in civilian dress within open olive wreath on mottled ground, friezes with scrollwork above and below; design repeated both sides.
This dynamic and attention-grabbing large ceramic pitcher was produced during Grant's presidency, likely in England for the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. It is unusual to find a human subject in majolica, and so far as we know Grant is the only U.S. president to be so honored. Colors were applied by hand, so each is slightly different, and this is the most attractive of the half dozen or so we've seen over the past 20 years.
A superb piece of 19th century art pottery, as well as political Americana, in beautiful condition.